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Aug 27 2013

Let’s all celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. with gunshots!

Is Laura Ingraham the worst person in the world, or what? She had a show to dismiss racism as something in the past, and she featured a clip of Rep. John Lewis speaking…which she interrupted with a gun-shot sound effect. What was she thinking? Here’s the clip:

That’s not all. While denying that millions of black people are oppressed by racism, her guest was flagrant racist Patrick Buchanan…and tell me, does this commentary sound at all familiar to you?

While Ingraham’s gunshot interruption was emotionally destructive, the remainder of her show’s segments on the 50th anniversary events was intellectually destructive. Ingraham complained that speakers at the rally discussed the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, but, "No one talked about the black crime rate at the rally."

Ingraham’s guest Buchanan recently appeared on Fox News to distort black-on-white crime rates and imply that African Americans are an inherently violent race. On the radio, the two bemoaned the idea that, in Buchanan’s words, "white males are the only group … against whom it’s legitimate to discriminate against."

Just a hint to JT: I like you, man, and I think you’ve got great promise…but when you make it easy to draw comparisons with Laura Ingraham and Pat Buchanan, you done screwed up.

38 comments

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  1. 1
    Christopher Stephens

    I think there is legitimate criticism of JT’s handling of that whole controversy …

    But I honestly don’t have a clue how one could compare anything that he’s said (including his criticism of Bria Crutchfield) to the rhetoric of dedicated career racists like Laura Ingraham and Pat Buchanan.

  2. 2
    Nathaniel Frein

    If you’re not seeing it…you’re not really looking.

    Look at who he chose to scold, and who he chose to give the benefit of the doubt, and what each of those two were saying.

  3. 3
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Christopher Stephens:

    “black on black crime”

  4. 4
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    *headdesk*

  5. 5
    Rutee Katreya

    But I honestly don’t have a clue how one could compare anything that he’s said (including his criticism of Bria Crutchfield) to the rhetoric of dedicated career racists like Laura Ingraham and Pat Buchanan.

    He only defended the right of white women to JAQ off to black atheists about racist talking points, I don’t see the connection to the people who generate those talking points at all!

  6. 6
    Anthony K
    But I honestly don’t have a clue how one could compare anything that he’s said (including his criticism of Bria Crutchfield) to the rhetoric of dedicated career racists like Laura Ingraham and Pat Buchanan.

    He only defended the right of white women to JAQ off to black atheists about racist talking points, I don’t see the connection to the people who generate those talking points at all!

    Right. See, being not-at-all-a-racist-but-just-someone-who-naively-says-racist-things is like the Olympics: you’re only eligible if you say racist things as a hobby. Once you make it a career, you’re an official bigot.

  7. 7
    John Kruger

    Come on now, JT explicitly stated that the question about black on black crime was racist. He is guilty of privileged and insensitive tone trolling, sure, but don’t paint him as endorsing things he made a point to label as wrong.

  8. 8
    Rutee Katreya

    Oh my jesus this white woman. Yet another refrain of “A black man is the president, so racism is over.”

  9. 9
    Nathaniel Frein

    *snort*

    Again, did he scold the racist? No. He scolded the angry black woman.

  10. 10
    Nathaniel Frein

    Oh, yeah. And then he wrote 11k words on how he was totes justified in scolding that angry black woman.

    Maybe, like, twenty to kinda sorta admit that, yeah, she was responding to a racist comment…

  11. 11
    Lynna, OM

    Joan Walsh, writing for Salon:

    … She’s [Laura Ingraham is] pretending King was some kind of conservative hero whose message of colorblindness – and that wasn’t his message at all – has been coopted by liberal race-baiters and whiners and malcontents, who just won’t accept that Bobby Jindal is right when he talks about the “end of race,” because a first-generation Indian immigrant’s experience of racism is identical to that of people who were enslaved for hundreds of years, and he gets to decide when racism is over. Ingraham’s co-opting comment was just dumb. Typically dumb. What was unusually vicious, even for the often nasty radio host, was that she decided to interrupt an audio clip of the heroic Rep. John Lewis, the youngest person to speak at the march 50 years ago, speaking on Saturday, with the sound of a crackling gunshot….

    Lewis is in mid-speech, talking about the unfinished business of civil rights in America. “We must say to the Congress: fix the Voting Rights Act. We must say to the Congress: Pass comprehensive immigration reform. It doesn’t make sense that millions of our people…”

    And then a shot rings out. Ingraham picks up what Lewis was saying. “OK. ‘It doesn’t make sense that millions of our people… are living in the shadows.’ They’re not only not living in the shadows, they’re appearing at the State of the Union speech. They’re actually visiting with the president in the White House. I think we have to drop that ‘living in the shadows” thing. They might be standing on the street corner, but they’re not living in the shadows.” …

  12. 12
    piegasm

    Come on now, JT explicitly stated that the question about black on black crime was racist. He is guilty of privileged and insensitive tone trolling, sure, but don’t paint him as endorsing things he made a point to label as wrong.

    It means exactly nothing that he said it was racist/wrong because what he chose to do after that was to dedicate 11,000 words to criticizing the black woman. When it came time to give someone the benefit of the doubt, it was the white woman parroting a racist dog whistle pulled straight from the collective ass of people like Buchanan and Ingraham who got it.

  13. 13
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Rutee

    “A black man is the president, so racism is over.”

    But you see, there’s good evidence for this. They, themselves, would never want black people to dominate the government. They, themselves, refused to vote for Obama out of race. They, themselves, used racism as much as they possibly could to defeat Obama in the election.

    And yet, they failed. So there must not be racism anymore, right? Since when they are racist they no longer get their way 100% of the time, the power of racism is broken. Intent isn’t magic. They intended to be racist, but didn’t get what they want – ergo, racism is dead!

    QED!

  14. 14
    cadfile

    That cheap shot at JT was kind of like Laura Ingraham using the gunshot sound effect – emotionally destructive and intellectually dishonest.

    Just because he thought an African-American woman was wrong doesn’t make JT a racist so your cheap shot is just that.

  15. 15
    piegasm

    Just because he thought an African-American woman was wrong doesn’t make JT a racist so your cheap shot is just that.

    The clue bus. You has missed it. Sorry. :(

  16. 16
    Anthony K

    Just because he thought an African-American woman was wrong doesn’t make JT a racist so your cheap shot is just that.

    Exactly. Like I said with my Olympics comment: you’re either Hitler, or you’re not racist at all. There’s no middle ground. It’s pretty black and white.

  17. 17
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Laura Ingraham used the sound of gun fire because the sound of a head being bashed in would be too difficult to recognize.

  18. 18
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @cadfile

    “you’ve done screwed up” != “you are a screw up”

    Moreover, however much you might like it to be, “racist” != “one who only does racist things every minute of the day”, or even “one who openly and unrepentantly opines for genocide”

    Racist = “one who believes racist things” and/or “one who does racist things”

    You are trying to make PZ’s statement into “JT is a racist”. It wasn’t. It was “JT screwed up”.

    So set that straw man on fire. Then, by the light of the thing, consider that being “a racist” wouldn’t necessarily mean what you think it means. the definition of “a racist” **includes** the founder of Stormfront. It is not **limited to** the founder of Stormfront.

  19. 19
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @anthony K:

    Ouch! That one stings!

  20. 20
    erik333

    I must be missing something obvious: who or what is “JT”?

  21. 21
    Anthony K

    I must be missing something obvious: who or what is “JT”?

    Definitely not a racist, at all, for sure.

  22. 22
    sethmassine

    I thought this was a joke at first…wow. I mean, really?

  23. 23
    gussnarp

    Well, JT’s recent comment came to my mind as soon as I read “black crime rate”. Yeah, JT seemed to think that someone making that same argument, when it was entirely out of place and out of context, was completely innocent. It takes a lot of willful ignorance to pretend that the rallying cry of the racist right could come out of anyone’s mouth completely innocently, certainly not when its only relation to the topic at hand was blackness.

  24. 24
    John Kruger

    It means exactly nothing that he said it was racist/wrong because what he chose to do after that was to dedicate 11,000 words to criticizing the black woman. When it came time to give someone the benefit of the doubt, it was the white woman parroting a racist dog whistle pulled straight from the collective ass of people like Buchanan and Ingraham who got it.

    Not saying that JT was in any way justified, he did fuck up in a major way and still needs to own up to it. I am not even saying that what he did was not racist. PZ directly comparing him to people who actually spout off that particular trademark racist talking point in a sincere manner is totally unfair, though.

  25. 25
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I must be missing something obvious: who or what is “JT”?

    I thought Justin Timberlake was actually pretty good at the VMAs

    wait

    oh

  26. 26
    Rutee Katreya

    Not saying that JT was in any way justified, he did fuck up in a major way and still needs to own up to it. I am not even saying that what he did was not racist. PZ directly comparing him to people who actually spout off that particular trademark racist talking point in a sincere manner is totally unfair, though.

    If he’d sided with Bria, I’d be inclined to agree with you.

  27. 27
    Anthony K

    PZ directly comparing him to people who actually spout off that particular trademark racist talking point in a sincere manner is totally unfair, though.

    The question-asker was totally sincere. Naive and ill-informed, yes, but also sincere. If she were not, she would have been trolling and a black woman would have had justification for being angry, no?

  28. 28
    Rutee Katreya

    That said, I would rather discuss the white woman who actually has a radio show she was just ridiculously racist on, and who was most certainly not egging her listeners a little further on into violence against a black man, rather than some bog-standard white dude being a racist to other atheists. Granted, it’s PZ’s blog, not mine.

  29. 29
    cadfile

    Crip Dyke @18

    I didn’t know you were a mind reader. You should really let the NSA know you can read people’s thoughts.

    PZ just didn’t say JT screwed up he said:

    but when you make it easy to draw comparisons with Laura Ingraham and Pat Buchanan, you done screwed up.

    I guess it was just another grenade someone else gave PZ? It was a week late and dollar short.

  30. 30
    Anthony K

    I didn’t know you were a mind reader. You should really let the NSA know you can read people’s thoughts.

    Oh, are we playing this game? Good, I’ve been waiting, because mind-reading is the only way JT Eberhard ‘knew’ that the woman asking about black-on-black crime is totes not really racist, and his only justification for his criticism of Bria.

  31. 31
    Rutee Katreya

    Comparison – n. The state of being exactly equivalent in every way.

  32. 32
    Bicarbonate is back

    For those who are wondering who JT Eberhard is and what he did :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2013/08/on-silencing-anger-to-silence-minority-voices/

  33. 33
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Thank you, Rutee.

    The claim at the end is justified by the ease of comparison. But the claim is that JT “done screwed up”. I don’t think shortening that to “screwed up” requires mind reading. While I’m more than capable of mind-reading, and indeed know through my telepathy that the JREF has already decided to send the million bucks to me, removing “done” and divining that the remaining phrase has the same meaning requires no mind reading at all.

  34. 34
    aaronbaker

    It takes a lot of willful ignorance to pretend that the rallying cry of the racist right could come out of anyone’s mouth completely innocently, certainly not when its only relation to the topic at hand was blackness.

    The “black-on-black crime” meme is bullshit (regarding which, Janelle Bouie is hard to beat: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/07/15/the-trayvon-martin-killing-and-the-myth-of-black-on-black-crime.html), but it’s widely believed bullshit–and not just on the racist right (e.g. Bill Cosby, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/05/-this-is-how-we-lost-to-the-white-man/306774/). So I think someone at that talk–at any event, someone with a weak grasp of relevance–could have mentioned black on black crime without the intent of a Laura Ingraham or Pat Buchanan.

    Since, however, I think EITHER politely giving the white questioner the benefit of the doubt as to her intent OR chapping her ass for bringing up something both irrelevant and with an evil pedigree was an appropriate response, I don’t really have a dog in this fight.

  35. 35
    David Marjanović

    It’s pretty black and white.

    *contract*

    X-D

    “you’ve done screwed up” != “you are a screw up”

    From what I’ve read, you done screwed up is the perfective aspect: it’s over, you’ve screwed up for good.

  36. 36
    k_machine

    Just a friendly reminder re. Pat Buchanan: he got his career as an affirmative action hire, Nixon brought him in to fish for Irish/catholic votes.

  37. 37
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I was initially somewhat sympathetic to JT’s position here, because I don’t see going off on someone at length for repeating a talking point they could plausibly have failed to realize the implications of as plausibly proportionate, and find it a lot easier to empathize with people who’ve been torn into (and had malevolent motives explicitly and spuriously attributed to them). I noted that in the initial round of responses, people seemed to be selectively parsing his criticism as “she was too angry” rather than engaging his more nuanced, but still somewhat problematic critique, and that a lot of the responses seemed to be hinging on the idea that a less-privileged person could either never be wrong about how they respond to a display of privilege, or at least that a person with that privilege could never competently point it out, which I know for a fact no one actually believes, because people tell me how to respond to privileged bullshit from non-autistics with alarming regularity.

    And yet, watching JT doubling down, watching his oblivious attempts to portray himself as The Mature Adult In The Room, noticing how he wasn’t even phased by the fact that objectively horrible people jumped in to praise his position, and especially realizing how much he’d elided (like the fact that the question wasn’t even remotely on topic and that the response was approved and planned during another speaker’s Q&A; I’d assumed from JT’s description that the talk during which it occurred was on “issues facing the black community” or some such), that’s pretty much evaporated. >.>

  38. 38
    erik333

    @25 Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Thanks.

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